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  1. Becoming a Norse Warrior - LEVEL 1 (part 2) “I’m not afraid I’m not alone I feel in my veins Desire rage I’m awoken, I’m awoken Night of the warriors I’m awoken, I’m awoken Everything inside me I’m awoken, I’m awoken Theory of madness I’m awoken, I’m awoken This is my final stand” Becoming a Norse Warrior - LEVEL 1 Welcome to the next level of my challenge! Technically it stays the same, I am just gonna continue what I was doing previously. I am gonna report about my progress casually and post some motivational stuff and music too. If you support me, I’ll try my best to return the favour. Let’s unite our powers! I am gonna level up on the path of a warrior. These are the values of the Vikings’ Code of Values I am gonna pursuit and how I am gonna do it: 1. Strength “It takes a certain kind of warrior to be able to row for hundreds of miles on the open seas and then go raiding for riches. Raw power is necessary, along with endurance and functional strength. Having a physical presence and mental fortitude was essential in surviving.” Strength: -Full body home workout with dumbbells 3 kg 2 times a week, cardio 1-2 times a week - abs exercise (10 min) - Do exercise to strengthen the joints every day (was injured recently, need to prevent future disasters) (10 min) -Eat garlic every day (if anyone has any advice about other effective ways to boost the immune system, let me know) 2. Discipline “Discipline, again as part of a total way of life, refers to self-discipline. If one is going to live by ones own standards, they are responsible for and must be willing to control your own actions. “ Always do what is planned unless seriously sick or unwell. Never slack off - especially studying. Study every day for at least half an hour and more on the weekend. 3. Courage The Vikings were known for their courage and bravery in battle. Courage actually applied to every part of ones life. It take courage to do what you know is right, especially when those around you disagree with your point of view.” Do at least one thing that scares you. 4. Self-Reliance “Warriors are by nature independent beings, they strive to ensure that they don’t have to depend on others for their survival. Indeed family was at the center of Viking life. A Viking is responsible for taking care of himself and his family; this is his first and foremost duty in life. Being frugal and prepared for hardship, as with a long upcoming winter, was an important part of being self-reliant.” Don’t spend more than 1000 yuan (it is 156 American dollars) for personal expenses every month. Save the rest for future adventures and possible hardships. 5. Stay in tune with the gods “The Vikings had a deep connection to nature, to the Earth and the phases of the moon, and Norse spirituality has many similarities with shamanism around the world.” Turn off your phone for two hours a day (on the weekend). Admire the nature. Connect with it and search for that feral feeling deep within. Reach to your roots, to the roots of humanity.
  2. “Ships on vigor of the waves are skimming Barren summits to the verdant plains Each horizon is a new beginning Rise and reign Far from the Fjords and the ice cold currents Ravens soar over new frontiers Songs and sagas of a fate determined Shields and spears (...) Fires are rising and the bells are ringing Glory take us into Odin's halls Golden glimmer and the sound of singing Asgard's call”* My fellow rebels, welcome to my new challenge! I am gonna report about my progress weekly and post some motivational stuff and music too. If you support me, I’ll try my best to return the favour. Let’s unite our powers! I am gonna level up on the path of a warrior. These are the values of the Vikings’ Code of Values I am gonna pursuit and how I am gonna do it: 1. Strength “It takes a certain kind of warrior to be able to row for hundreds of miles on the open seas and then go raiding for riches. Raw power is necessary, along with endurance and functional strength. Having a physical presence and mental fortitude was essential in surviving.” Strength: My ultimate goal is to become as strong as I can. This month there are only two weeks left of this challenge and I am both sick and injured, so I am gonna include some basics: - learn the proper technique of basic movements of strength training - do what you can without compromising your health - Do exercise to strengthen the joints every day (was injured recently, need to prevent future disasters) (10 min) -Eat garlic every day (if anyone has any advice about other effective ways to boost the immune system, let me know) 2. Discipline “Discipline, again as part of a total way of life, refers to self-discipline. If one is going to live by ones own standards, they are responsible for and must be willing to control your own actions. “ Always do what is planned unless seriously sick or unwell. Never slack off - especially studying. Study every day for at least half an hour (I work 9 h a day, so not that much free time) and more on the weekend. 3. Courage The Vikings were known for their courage and bravery in battle. Courage actually applied to every part of ones life. It take courage to do what you know is right, especially when those around you disagree with your point of view.” Do at least one thing that scares you. 4. Self-Reliance “Warriors are by nature independent beings, they strive to ensure that they don’t have to depend on others for their survival. Indeed family was at the center of Viking life. A Viking is responsible for taking care of himself and his family; this is his first and foremost duty in life. Being frugal and prepared for hardship, as with a long upcoming winter, was an important part of being self-reliant.” Don’t spend more than 1000 yuan (it is 156 American dollars) for personal expenses every month. Save the rest for future adventures and possible hardships. 5. Stay in tune with the gods “The Vikings had a deep connection to nature, to the Earth and the phases of the moon, and Norse spirituality has many similarities with shamanism around the world.” Turn off your phone for two hours a day (on the weekend). Admire the nature. Connect with it and search for that feral feeling deep within. Reach to your roots, to the roots of humanity. *the lyrics at the beginning comes from “Valhalla Calling” by Miracle of Sound. It is my battle hymn!
  3. Hey, NF Community! Just wondering if there are any other iNaturalist addicts and/or other assorted nature nerds (hikers, photographers, explorers, citizen scientists, professional scientists) who would like to share here! "Nature stalking," as I like to call it, has really helped me connect with my surroundings, get outside more, log more hikes, explore new places, and learn so much about the creatures we share the environment with! If anyone is interested, jump on in! If you have questions about getting more outdoorsy, please feel free to shout those out, too! To kick this off, I wanted to share a few of my iNat pics (I'm personally very fond of bees!) and a few resources. iNaturalist - upload observations of living creatures to help with data collection and analysis, and use an amazing AI system to identify your photograph! (available on desktop, iPhone, and Android) * More info in my conversation with @InnerFire, below. QuestaGame - individuals and teams photograph and identify living organisms for points (similar to iNaturalist, but made into a game) SciStarter - Citizen Scientist project center Geocaching - outdoor treasure hunting (yes, really!) World Wildlife Fund Panda Ambassadors - WWF volunteering What else should I add to this list?? - Odynne (TIPSYwithWATER) BEE SPECIES PICTURED: Perplexing Bumble Bee, Common Eastern Bumble Bee, Eastern Honey Bee, Eastern Carpenter Bee, Western Honey Bee
  4. Bringing back another past challenge that I created three years ago; I think it may actually be my favorite and possibly one of the most impactful. It's hefty, and I likely won't be able to do all the things, but regardless I recall feeling very free and in tune with my natural self during this challenge. I have made some modifications to fit my more current life (i.e. I can't spend more time with my grandpa because he passed away), current abilities, and current goals, but the essence of the challenge will remain the same. Connect With Environment: The Na'vi are deeply connected to the natural world around them and they take care of it. When completing each of these challenges, engage all of your senses and stay mindful of the impact nature has on your body and your spirit. At least 30 minutes outdoors/day in a natural setting Go barefoot at least 30 minutes/day; wear minimalist shoes when necessary. Explore an unfamiliar outdoor area, or explore a familiar one as if seeing it for the first time. At least one wild swim/week At least one tree climb/week Give at least 5 minutes/day of your attention to a lifeform other than human (pets, wildlife, plants, etc.). Download Joulebug and complete at least one challenge/day. Do a litter cleanup in a natural area at least once/week. Avoid using plastics of any kind (unless impossible). 1 trail run or hike/week Connect With Food: The Na'vi are omnivorous hunter-gatherers with a deep connection to the available provisions that surrounded them, both meat and plant. When completing these challenges, savor each bite, eat mindfully and pay close attention to how this affects your body and spirit. Eat full vegetarian at least one day/week Eat at least 1 vegetable/day Eat fresh meat instead of processed/boxed/canned meat at least 3 days/week; this includes fish (BONUS: game meat when possible). Forage at least once/week (dandelion, plantains, onion, etc.) Intermittent fasting Eat locally at least once/week Connect With Body: The Na'vi need their body to be in top shape in order to survive such a harsh environment. When completing this challenge, use a variety of "wild fitness"/primal/paleo natural movements and be mindful of how this impacts your body and spirit. At least 5 minutes deep squat/day practice WHM breathing or some breathing practice daily cold shower daily Drink at least 1/2 gallon of water/day. Dead hang for at least 30 seconds 3 days/week. At least 2 minutes of planking at least 3 days/week. 30 burpees/day At least 15 minutes of free-running/sprints 3 days/week on uneven terrain (barefoot if possible). "Natural" movement HIIT with plenty of variety 3 days/week (see Mark Sisson's WOWs for ideas). Connect With Tribe: The Na'vi have a deep connection with members of their tribe, especially family but also tribal elders and leaders. For this challenge, be mindful of your relationships and how you strengthen them. Spend every afternoon with your daughters ('ite); at least one technology-free playtime/week. Use intimate physical touch with tribal members (for family: hugs, kisses, holding hands, snuggling; handshakes/hugs for friends). At least one uninterrupted/technology free evening with wife (muntxate) Call your mother (sa'nok). Connect With Self: In spite of living in a savage environment, the Na'vi are very self-aware and practice a disciplined self-control and humble appreciation of all life, including their own. Become toruk makto: tame the beast and take control of your temper by pausing and being mindful of your emotions. Seek wisdom: read works written by great tribal leaders and elders who have come before you. Choose your words: be mindful of when to speak and when to be silent; don't waste words, but choose them wisely. Be grateful: keep a log each day of things for which you are grateful. Connect With Eywa (God): The Na'vi believe in and commune with a being greater than themselves. This is the essence of their culture and it drives their actions and lifestyle. While completing these challenges, be mindful of where your heart and spirit rest on these issues. Greet each morning with a grateful smile and a spoken "Thank you." Pray/meditate in silence at least 10 minutes/day. Integrate prayer throughout the day. Treat each person you meet as spiritually connected and as image-bearers of God; treat all lifeforms as God's creation. Practice agape love (unconditional love). Bonus Challenges: Practice another language (Duolingo) Spend at least one night outside (in a hammock, if possible). Take a long hike deep into the woods (off trail, if possible). Ride a horse. Harvest spring water. Climb the Hallelujah Mountains: Go rock climbing (freestyle).
  5. I needed a challenge off to get some aspects of my life together and figured out, but while always imperfect, I’m such a better person when I’m doing a challenge. So here I am with the Adventurers once again.... Who am I? (Yes, this image is to show off my awesome new hair.) I am Ann of Vries, aged 40, diarist, LARPer, stitch witch, traveler, walker, and an aspirational forest fairy living in the city. I’m an American living in London, UK; married to my true love and brilliant partner (Mr of Vries) and my main job/labour of love is raising our adorable toddler son (Rowan of Vries). Which is mostly fun, but occasionally harrowing. (You wouldn’t know he had a total tantrum meltdown on this same train a few days before....) I immigrated to the UK from Seattle three and a half years ago. I love it here, although I’m still trying to find my tribe (outside of the House of Vries, of course). I long to live in the English countryside, in a stone house with a large garden that grows most of our herbs, vegetables, and fruit. But that time is out in the future—for now, we are city folk and I aim to make the best of that. Not every person gets a chance to move abroad and live in one of the most famous cities in the world! To that end.... I am the Dream Look at my short summary up there. I am, by many people’s standards, ~living the dream~. But a tendency toward Hedonic Adaption, some much wished for (and worked for) dreams that didn’t come true, and a history of depression (which gets much worse in the darker part of the year) means I often forget this. The Challenge There’s no reason to let these dreams turn into a nightmare. So to help keep the darkness at bay and remain living the dream, I will be: Practicing gratitude/journaling Write and post about something I’m grateful about at least 3 times a week. Many will be about my general status of life, but least one of those per week should be something current. Keep up on my personal journals in between. Meditation and spiritual practices I’ve recently started a course to help motivate me out of being an occasional witch and more of a regularly practicing one. Practice grounding/centering/meditation at least 5 days a week. Every day is better, but every day doesn’t always happen. At least two more lessons completed for the pagan degree course I’m in. At least once a week, work on book study or a branch class assignment. Get outside/stay active RoV is now a walker (although not particularly fast or with a destination in mind), and he doesn’t want to be carried all the time. In fact, he doesn’t much like carriers at all anymore and I’ve had to give and buy a stroller if I want to get him around (I’m not sure why he prefers the stroller to the carrier, but he does). This means my days of hours and hours of walking have become more challenging as has my use of public transport (my nearby stations aren’t step-free accessible), despite that RoV needs to go out 2 or 3 times a day to burn off energy. Go outside at least once a day, even if it’s just the back garden Embrace and enjoy going out. 10k steps a day; more is better. Engage in mind-healthy pursuits (and cut back mindless ones) I’m finding myself wasting a lot of time on mindless Facebook scrolling, news rubber-necking and other such activities. Cut back to only checking a couple of times a day and for no more than 5 minutes a go. Spend that time on reading, appreciating the outdoors, journaling, embroidery, knitting, and playing with RoV. I may resurrect my Instagram account. We’ll see. Don’t (always) eat the croissant I’m at a healthy weight and I’m generally a healthy eater, but the last few weeks has seen me engaging in a lot of indulgent, often junky eating (made worse by a two weeks cold I’m still recovering from) and my weight has crept up just enough to concern me about the beginning of an ongoing trend. My household consists of foodies, and I’m not a calorie counter, but sometimes I just need to resist the croissant. (And I definitely need to resist the junk food!) Sometimes, I’m allowed to have the croissant but it needs to be a conscious choice. There’s a lot going on in this challenge, and you guys know I’m not a huge fan of collecting the metrics. My general intent is that by striving for these things with some accountability, I will do them more often, and I’ll try to update a couple of times a week with how it’s going. Except! I’m going on an adventure during this challenge! We’ll be headed to Wales for 2 weeks shortly into the challenge. I haven’t decided if I’m taking my laptop or if I’m just going to go with a notebook and my phone and have a bit of tech break. Depending on how this goes, I may go silent for a couple of weeks. But I’ll be back. Cheers, AoV
  6. Since Spring is on its way in and the weather is getting warmer, I feel it is time to get back in touch with my love of nature and the outdoors without neglecting my current goals and the progress I have made so far. The first thing you may have noticed is the name change. Two reasons for this: I am WolfDreamer at most of my social media, and because spring is a season of growth and rebirth, I felt this challenge needed to be about transformation. Not total transformation, but enough to bring new life and energy, to be healed from the drag of winter, to breathe in change and breathe out pain, to reach towards the sky while rooting deeply into the earth, to grow. The name WolfDreamer has an origin, which I plan to share on here in a later post. This also means my goals might not stay consistent since transformation is also about change. I need to be willing to me gracious when goals aren't working out and make changes towards newer or modified goals. But there are a few things I can guarantee: this challenge will be an amalgamation of things that inspire me and bring me joy: music, art, literature, nature, wildlife, movement, faith, poetry, and lots of quotes from people who inspire me. However, in the interest of giving myself some structure, here are a few tangible goals to start the challenge off: wake up at 0430-0445 M-F (20 points total) say the Lord's Prayer out loud every day (28 points total) listen to or read a daily devotional/meditation/prayer (28 points total) do some kind of vigorous movement every morning to wake my body up (28 points total) complete at least one Wim Hof Method breath rotation, exercise, and cold shower every day (28 points total) get at least 30 minutes daily outside in nature (barefoot if possible). (28 points total) eat intuitively and mindfully (28 points total) walk at least 12,000 steps/day (28 points total) run at least three days/week; this can include sprints (12 points total) read for at least 20 minutes every day (in this instance, audiobooks do not count; it is about sitting still and focusing on one thing for at least 20 minutes). (28 points total) continue working toward Masters degree And that about does it for now. Hope you'll follow along; I feel so much stronger when friends come along on the adventure.
  7. Fall is fast approaching, it's getting darker and rainier and I'm slowly getting the urge to go find an nice cozy cave to hibernate in. But instead I'm going to embrace the change of season by channeling three oh so trendy Scandinavian concepts, Finnish sisu, Danish hygge and Swedish lagom. Go outside in nature, even when it's cold and rainy Be brave and keep up with morning swims for as long as possible Fight the schnooze, keep up with morning movement Don't avoid hard stuff (like potential job applications) Make my house more enjoyable - fix the things that annoy me, replace plants I killed, make kitchen more enjoyable place to cook etc Reduce phone/laptop usage, cozy up with a book instead, or even a hobby thing Cook and eat food that makes me happy and content Not my strong suit for sure. Keep up with Nerdwarts classes (backbends, handstands, climbing) but with a more consistent workload. (I wanted to add plan a deload, but I might be forced to because my forearm niggle is now forcing me to take at least the day off) Do some prehab work/Cirque Physio Start work on unfucking my eating habits (more on this later) and start eating in a more balanced way. Read intuitive eating. Similarly to last time these "goals" are pretty fluid in content, it's more about the mindset. I'm planning on keeping this a two month challenge, but will see. It's all an experiment.
  8. "Merry, Merry," Annyshay shook him gently. She was on the edge of throwing the remnants of his own ale in his face, but he shook his head and seemed to snap out of it. "I'm not ready to talk about them yet," Merry breathed. Annyshay had never seen Merry scared. Ever. She was quite inclined to trust his judgment here as ever, "whatever you say, cousin. Drink your ale." "Yes, quite." After a few more swigs on both sides, Merry's face lit up a bit. "You may have noticed some... changes, since our return," he began by way of introduction. Annyshay was noncommittal in her response, "mmmhmmm." "Well, I imagine the four of us riding in on ponies in armor covered in insignia and other marks not before seen in the Shire was quite the spectacle," Merry continued to fish for a reaction, but Annyshay just held his gaze. "In any case, I'm sure it was obvious pretty quickly that Pippin and I were the only two hobbits of our party that had grown taller in addition to thinner." "My first thought was certainly that you all needed at least a week of home cooking before you would be fit for pleasant company. Your bones were sticking out all over the place!" "Surely you noticed that I grew," Merry threatened a pout, "me and Pippin that is?" "It may have crossed a few people's lips, aye" Annyshay conceded. "Well that is as good a story as any to show how different things can be outside of the Shire," Merry prattled onwards. "Indeed if I manage to tell it right it should come back around to the ash and my concerns that something is amiss in the Old Forest." Annyshay took a noisy slurp from the end of her pint. Merry, ever the good host returned to the barman to get a half pint for each of them. Annyshay raised her smaller glass and Merry reciprocated the gesture before taking a large swig and settling himself in to spin a good yarn. "You see, Annyshay," Merry continued to preamble, "this story is all to do with Ents." "Ents?" Annyshay assumed that Merry's thinner frame made it more difficult for him to hold his ale however tall he may have grown. "What in Middle Earth is Ents?" "First off," Merry put down his glass and became his old self for a moment. He was clearly confident in whatever story he was about to unfold and thought that it was something Annyshay best pay attention to. His whole appearance reminded her of many previous lectures. "An Ent is a who, not a what." "A who?" Annyshay nearly choked on her beer. "Now you're really pulling my leg." "By the Master's wine cellars," Merry responded solemnly, "there are many creatures you've not heard of here even from Bree." Annyshay just stared at him, unsure what to ask next to get to the meat of the tale. "Yes, Ents," Merry pressed on fortified with more ale. "Ents are the Shepherds of the Trees. Probably the oldest creatures in Middle Earth, except maybe Tom." "Is Tom a what then?" Annyshay scoffed. "Your ale's gone to your head Merry. Talking nonsense, you are." "No no no," Merry waved her protests away. "Just listen to me. All will become clear in due course." "Well, you're stringing me along something awful," Annyshay protested. "Get on to the tale, ya scamp!" "A skeptical audience, I see. Well, all the better," Merry took a bit more liquid sustenance before he finally got down to business. "To really understand this story, you must be patient, cousin. There's a lot you have to learn Annyshay - concerning Ents."
  9. I hope everyone had an awesome holiday. This was a tough one for me personally because it was our first without Papaw. But it ended up being drama-free, and I was surprised to find myself less concerned about gifts and money and instead enjoying time with family and friends. My challenge set-up this time may be edited later as ideas/problems/concerns arise. I plan to continue certain daily habits, such as early rising, prayer, getting outside/earthing/stretching in the morning, Bible study, etc. but they probably won't be mentioned in the challenge goals below. As promised, this challenge will be LOTR themed, focusing mostly on the book series (but with plenty of gifs, pics, vids, memes, etc. from all sources). Each goal is named after a poem/song from the Lord of the Rings book series. Quest 1: The Road Goes Ever On (Walking/Hiking) walk at least 10,000 steps per day at least one 30 minute mindful/adventure walk per day at least one 30 minute hike per week Quest 2: The Riddle of Strider (Strength/Fitness/Nutrition) at least 3 bodyweight/Spartan/HIIT style strength workouts per week at least 1 day per week of 4 all-out 80+ yard sprints (with 10 second rests between each) at least 2 5ks per week (aim for every Saturday and Wednesday) eat whole food/Paleo as often as possible (aim for 2/3 meals per day) intermittent fasting at least 5 days per week (not eating before 11:00am) drink at least 64oz of water per day every day Quest 3: I Sit Beside the Fire and Think (Meditation/Mindfulness/Study) meditate at least 20 minutes every day read at least 20 minutes every day (Bible and LOTR, of course) at least 1 outdoor ("beside the fire") meditation per week (Fri, Sat, or Sun?) at least one language session/lesson using Duolingo Quest 4: Song of Beren and Luthien (Love/Affection) at least 30 minutes uninterrupted time per day with my queen at least 1 "date night" per week with my queen (don't be picky about this; the key is to spend time alone together) speak the top love languages of my queen (acts of service, quality time, and words of affirmation) to bed with my queen every night, even if this means moving princess Arabella to another bed (see past challenges)
  10. Hello, Annyshay Here! Last challenge I learned something about myself... I am SO MUCH STRONGER than I have given myself credit for, and I can TRUST MYSELF. Let's get right down to business shall we? This challenge, we're going to get to know the Earth with Toph. Quests! Barefoot - spend time every day in nature barefoot Twinkle Toes - movement breaks (dancing encouraged) Melon Lord - tell stories, play games Dig Down - ongoing recovery work (journal and various online communities) Also, never forget. No one is alone. Let's get started!!!
  11. I know I want this challenge to be about summer and getting more in touch with my primal self (this includes movements, diet, rest, etc.) as well as my spiritual self. I'll get my goals figured out and add them in later. For now... an infographic to serve as the rough draft of my challenge:
  12. You know you're a literature nerd when you're excited to find out that one of your favorite writers was into some of the same sorts of health/lifestyle practices as you...over 150 years ago: Found: Walt Whitman’s Guide to ‘Manly Health’ Writing under the pseudonym Mose Velsor, Whitman gives advice that mirrors aspects of the Primal or Paleo lifestyle, suggesting plenty of time outside, warning against the dangers of sedentary life, and sharing such powerful gems as this: "Reason seems to tell a man, not so much that death is dreadful, as that dragging out a useless, deficient, and sickly life is dreadful." Well said, Walt. Well said. Read the full (128 pages) document here.
  13. We have so many paths and trails here in Windsor that walking running and biking are obvious choices, so I wonder if there are any others here from Windsor who want to start a club? I live so close to the Ganachtio trail I just have to walk a couple blocks and I'm there. I guess not everybody has that luxury though, but it would be fun to go on walking and hiking meetups. We can go to the opposite end of Windsor and visit Ojibway Park. While its still there anyways, darn them capitalists! Or do the waterfront trail. As I said, Windsor has a ton of trails.
  14. I am Phytomancer, worshipper of rain, mover of earth, protector of trees, and the priest of the urban forests. Rain gardens are my shrines, and parks are my sanctuary. In the last challenge, I have recruited a few villains who enjoy the color green as much as I do. But villains have ulterior motives, and they are a bit spiteful. They don't make great minions. Previously a minion myself, I need the part of the army that is more... loyal. And I thought of the nature spirits. The tales across nations mention the spirits of nature in some kind. They are mostly kind, protective, and loyal. Some of them are tricksy and crazy, but that's because people are trespassing their homes. I need to learn some woodland magics if I want to hang out with them and not get turned into a frog. Anyhow, here are the woodland magics I plan to learn in this challenge. Dimension crossing Some say that the spirits live in different worlds that are parallel to ours. If I want to communicate with them, I have to cross dimensions with comfort. 1. Write academically for an hour 5 days a week 2. Write creatively for an hour 3 days a week These include the preparations of writing, editing, active reading, etc. as well. [Total-48 hours of writing in the challenge] Illusion Weaving To befriend the people and spirits around me while being comfortable, I must learn to weave the illusions of self that would become myself later on. 1. Start telling people I 'don't' eat bakery/ sugary food and avoid eating them in front of those people 2. Eat green everyday, and tell people I eat green everyday. 3. This is not about publicity, but I am thinking of adapting NoS diet seriously this time-- No snack, no sweets, no second, unless it's special (S days) [42 days of greens/ 42 days of NoS (with 6 S days)] Woodland Embodiment To be the nature spirit's champion in general, I have to be stronger than them and one with them. The goal is achieved by working out and be in nature 1. Push ups and Chin ups 3 times a week 2. Jog/ hike/ sprint at least twice a week 3. Attempt to climb a tree AND hand stand for at least once a week 4. Muay Thai at least once a week [Total 42 sessions of exercises] Each week, I will face different kinds of nature spirits, and will have mini challenges regarding those spirits as well. Let's start!
  15. Challenge #3 - Summer Assassin Training in the Druid Lands This challenge will be mostly completed on the road, therefore it needs to incorporate a lot of bodyweight exercises or other basic moves. I will be doing a lot of camping, hiking, and practical work as well, which is why I'm incorporating the druid/assassin themes for this challenge. 1. Exercise 6x/week & stretch daily (+2 DEX, +2 STR, +1 STA and +1 CON) Shouldn't be a problem. 2. Eat <1400 calories & at least 50 g protein (+2 CON, +2 CHA per kg lost) Preferably some fresh caught 3. Take extra skin care steps (+2 CON) morning and evening routine of wash, moisturize, medicate. My acne's been awful. Side Quest: (+3 WIS) read 3 books per week from my list. 2-3x/week (odds): | | Australian pull-ups (4x5), neg x225 lb [11 kg] shoulder press (4x4) >> Pike push ups?50 lb [23 kg] leg curls (5x4) >> sprints*20 lb [9 kg] hammer curls (5x4 ) >> archery25 lb overhead pullovers (5x4) >> tree/rope climbing *1 min. max speed, 2 min. jog, 1 min. rest (x5); 5 min. warm up+striders, 5 min. cool down2-3x/week (evens): | | 65 s bicycle crunchespush-ups, knuckle/decline (12/18) 65 s plank, side/front 76 lb [35 kg] bench press/incline (3x5) >> chest dips (x)45+ min. hiking/walking
  16. Greetings, Druids! I'm glad to have found you. (<- And to have found this Saturn smiley.) I hope to get to know a few more people during this challenge, and to post more often. Main Quest: Integrate healthy habits into daily routine. Goal #1: "Wild Mountain Thyme" Do 30+ minutes of physical activity, 3+ times per week. In my previous challenge, this was all yoga. I’m broadening it because it’s spring now, and I live in the Northeast! There are beautiful nature trails, state parks, and preserves nearby that I want to savor during the warmer months. My plan is to do yoga twice a week, and take at least one brisk walk in the woods. Goal #2: "Fountain of Life" Drink at least 20 oz of water each day. I’m carrying this goal over from the previous challenge. I’ve been doing well with it, but still need the reminder, especially on the weekend. Goal #3: "Solar Powered" Wake up 1.5 hours before work every morning. Still working on this… I was too ambitious in the last challenge, and just ended up feeling defeated. An hour and a half gives me enough time to comfortably get to work, feeling put-together and all that. Side Quest: "Apprentice Harper" Write something (anything) in my journal every day. I kept a journal in high school, and loved it! I wrote poetry, and jokes, and notes in foreign alphabets... For some reason, I stopped doing it in college because it felt silly - like I had nothing worthwhile to write about. Now that I'm out of school entirely, staring the rest of my life in the face, I feel an urgency to preserve the thoughts and feelings I have now - not because they're impressive, but because they'll change.
  17. I don't know how many are in a similar situation as I am, so let me explain. I live in NYC but grew up in the country and crave some good hiking every weekend or every other weekend. I've already looked up some parks and trails not too far from the city. The problem is transportation. I don't own a car, and while I can try borrowing my parent's - I'd rather not depend on it. I can't go to parks accessible by various public forms of transportation (trains, etc) because I'm going with my dog. Any suggestions for one day car rentals, or maybe some other options I am not considering? Thanks!
  18. I recently took a three-week desert retreat and did some reading. Topics spanned a wide but related range: essentialism, elements, meditation, resilience. The fruit of that time apart is a leaning toward a practice of meditation and yoga that seeks balance in my elemental nature. Let me 'splain: I'm starting with the four archetypal elements: earth, water, air and fire. Without making any claims that these are scientificially or theologically complete, I want to recognize that these elements have been and continue to be useful for ordering our interior lives. So I want to discern how they work in me, deepen my awareness of how they relate, and practice in ways that balance these energies. Initial categorical thoughts: Earth: body, solidity, groudedness, sexuality and productivity Water: heart, fluidity, empathy, intimacy and refreshment Air: mind, purity, insight, knowledge and wisdom Fire: spirit, unity, passion, music and enjoyment Any ideas, tools, interest, or other thoughts to share? I'd love to have a few companions to develop this concept.
  19. Last challenge, I decided that I was going to add an appearance goal to my next quest. Because, hey, every gal wants to look good when she's got a big night out... Whether it's a smokin' date... with a hot guy... Or just an excuse to go out with the girls To check out the latest in fashionable footwear. Let's face it. A power suit conveys authority. But there are those times when you just want to get down and dirty... And cruise through town driving a screaming red truck with the biggest engine you can find. Even if no one understands what you really do... The celebrities you admire... Why you go to places everyone else is leaving They don't understand what's important to you: "They're just some old trees," they say. "What's one deer worth?" "There are so many other ways to make friends and serve your community..." There are just some things you can't explain. Things that go deeper than words, That may appear unrealistic, foolish, even dangerous to others. But if it is your quest, your destiny, you must pursue it. Or forever wonder what might have been... Motivation My motivation is simple: I want to fight fires again. To that end, my current Main Quest encompasses a 40 week program to get me "fire fit" - physically, mentally and spiritually - and ends in my attending the Arizona Wildfire Academy in mid-March of 2015 ready to pass my Work Capacity Test, so that I can re-qualify as a wildland firefighter. I plan to be ready to go for wildfire season 2015 in the southwest U.S on either a Type 2 hand crew or a wildland engine crew. Additional details in my Battle Log. (Many additional details - you have been warned.) Firefighters Train Hard to Work Hard STA-3, STR-2 This challenge overlaps Weeks 2 - 7 of my "Forty Weeks to Fire Fit" program, subsequently referred to as "40W2FF." Included in my program is a gradual ramp up in order to build the necessary heat tolerance for exercising outdoors in the high temperatures of a Phoenix, AZ summer and altitude tolerance for the 4 - 6 days per month that I will be at 7,000 ft. above sea level in Flagstaff, AZ. I will provide details of my use of a breathing trainer, heart rate monitor, and all the other geeky stat stuff of my program. (Oh, ye Gods and Goddesses! The Nomograms!) If you have a particular question, just ask. Many moons ago I used to be the training officer in my department and I love to pontificate... Endurance Just Might Save Your Life (STA-3) For wildland fire suppression, endurance is the primary focus, as opposed to the sheer strength demanded by structural firefighting. Weeks 2 - 7 of Phase 1 coincide with this challenge. Phase 1 - 8 week program of walking transitioning to walk/jog intervals. Success will be being able to walk/jog in intervals for a distance of 5K, with an average heart rate of 145 or below, and a peak HR under 155. Goal time: < 45 minutes Strength Could Well Save Someone Else's (STR-2) A pre-conditioning program and two additional phases of a body weight strength program timed to reach the goal of starting the Hotshot Strength program (Phase 3) at Week 29 of my 40 week program. Weeks 2 - 4 of Phase 0, and Weeks 1 - 3 of Phase 1 coincide with this challenge. Phase 0 - 4 weeks of continued injury recovery and pre-conditioning program utilizing exercises from “Durability†section below. Focus on getting elbows to withstand pushups and pull-ups by dropping back and then gradually progressing from wall pushups and lightly weighted rows; establishing base of low set and rep numbers on the other exercises. This is early stage stuff while I establish my top priority right now, the base aerobic levels of my endurance program. Phase 1 - 12 week assisted exercise program of knee-pushups; assisted pull-ups, grip hangs and rows; modified dips; lunges and variations. Additionally - squats, planks, sit-ups, burpees and variations. This will kick things up a notch and prepare me for an increased focus on strength training in Phase 2. Firefighters Take Good Care of Their Rigs CON-5 Care of your vehicle is mission critical. Fueling it right, maintaining all of its systems, having every piece of equipment anchored, in the right place, and in good working order is of the highest priority. I will fuel my vehicle with high-quality, nutrient dense foods with an eye to maintaining endurance and muscle, while trimming off excess weight. I will learn to tailor my macros to the phases of my training. Keep the Crud Out of the Tank! (CON-1) No Soda PVP Achieve another 42 days of my 365 total on the No Soda PVP. This is a reduced point number from last challenge (CON-5) because it is so much easier now! Change the Oil and Lube the Chassis Regularly, Check All Fluids and Maintain Recommended Levels (CON-2) Durability (CON-1) Comprehensive set of warmups, mobility/stability, and “prehab†exercises for an older female athlete. Bone-builders (including jumping exercises); spine/shoulder//hip/knee exercises to maintain joint health; dynamic stretching to increase ROM and overall flexibility; specific exercises for identified weak areas including head/neck/spine alignment and bi-lateral muscle balance, ankles, wrists/hand/grip, pelvic floor, and elbows. I MUST warm up before every exercise session. Fluids (CON-1) Optimize H2O intake. Consume between 80 and 96 oz. of water on "normal" days; up to 128 oz. or more on high activity days in hot, dry conditions. Keep in mind that, if I were a vehicle manufactured in 1958, I would be considered an antique. Humpf... There are those that would consider me irreparable, over-the-hill, not worth restoring... Or only fit for a parade... I aim to prove them wrong! Body Composition Mission (CON-2) My 40 week end goal is a bodyweight of ~150#, +/-5# as long as my body fat % is at 20% or less using the U.S. Navy Body Fat Calculator. This tends to be a little under actual, so a DEXA scan would be even better, acceptable BF% < 24%. Goal for this challenge is to drop my BF% by at least 3 percentage points, to 36% or less. This will be from a combination of fat loss (primarily) and lean mass gain. (The following was calculated using US Navy Body Fat Calculator, it is an estimate. I think the calculator is somewhat overestimating my recent fat loss/lean muscle gain, but that it will all even out by the time I reach my goal weight.) Body Composition - Current Total Mass: 190 lbs. Lean Mass: 116 lbs. Fat Mass: 74 lbs. BF% = 39% Waist = 37" Hips = 43" Neck = 15" Height: 5'6 1/2" One Year Ago Total Mass: 206 lbs. Lean Mass: 107 lbs. Fat Mass: 99 lbs. BF% = 48% Waist = 42" Hips = 46" Neck = 16" Height: 5'5 3/4" 2004 (Fire Academy) Total Mass: 152 lbs. Lean Mass: 117 lbs. Fat Mass: 35 lbs. BF% = 23% Waist = 28" Hips = 37" Neck = 13" Height: 5'6 3/4" GOAL Total Mass: 150 lbs. Lean Mass: 120 lbs. Fat Mass: 30 lbs. BF% = 20% Waist = 27" Hips = 37" Neck = 14" Height: 5'6 3/4" Non-graded extras I want to experiment with at least one day per week of vegetarian eating and play with various combinations of macros to see how my body responds at different points in my training. Ideally, I will figure out an eating plan that will be useful as the intensity of my endurance and strength training increases. Firefighters Always Keep A Reserve of Water in Their Tank; They Top Off Their Tank at Every Opportunity DEX-1, WIS-2, CHA-2 You never run your water tank or other water source completely dry. Never. Otherwise you risk not having enough water for your own protection if things suddenly go south. You always keep that 100 gallon reserve available and you top off your tank at every opportunity. This may well be the hardest part of my challenge. I tend to go all out and to burn the candle at both ends. I will not succeed in my quest if I continue to do that. If I do, I will get injured or sick and will not be able to keep the pace I need to keep. I need to change my habit of staying up late to work or research or write or whatever until the wee hours of the morning and then turnaround and be up at 6:30 or 7 am. I regularly get by on just 4 or 5 hours of sleep during the week, then crash on the weekends. Rest, Recovery & Relaxation (WIS-2, CHA-1) Adequate rest and recovery will be critical to my success, as will providing for regular relaxation and recreation. Rest (WIS-1) Curfew/Bedtime/Lights Out - These are not synonymous. Curfew means I must "be in the house." Screens connected to the outside world must be turned off. Bedtime means actually in bed, but I may read, journal, meditate, or pray until lights out. Lights out - Dark, quiet, eyes shut, and brain powered down. Curfew is one hour before Lights Out. Bedtime can be any time between Curfew and Lights Out. Lights Out for Week One is 1:30 am, Week Two - 1:00 am, Week Three - 12:30 am, Week Four - midnight. At the end of Week Four, I will determine if I want or need to go any earlier for Lights Out. Going to bed much earlier messes with my wind down from work. (Often don't get home until 9:30 or so at night.) Wake Up Time is 7 am for Week One, 6:45 am for Week Two, 6:30 for Weeks Three through Six. Naps are fine, if needed. And, I reserve the right to adjust these times as I go along, as long as it is to increase my total sleep time overall. Recovery (WIS-1) Two cheat meals and one indulgent treat per week are not only allowed, they are encouraged. I am required to take at least one full day off of exercise per week, two if showing signs of undue fatigue or of developing any injury. (Situational Awareness applies to one's body, too!) Recreation (CHA-1) I must take a daily half-hour of recreation time and at least half a day per week of complete restorative down time, preferably much of that fully present with my partner. This is the time for all/any of those fun, relaxing, entertaining and/or creative things that get shoved aside by extra work, low priority household projects, ruminating, obsessing, surfing the net, mindlessly playing games or watching TV that one or the other or both of us don't even enjoy all that much. It's just habit. No more. No multi-tasking, no computer. No business activities, no studying, no housework or little nagging projects, or vegging out in front of the tube. No exceptions, no excuses. This time is my 100 gallon reserve. Attitude and Stress Management (DEX-1, CHA-1) To stay positive and not succumb to my depressive tendencies, or my doubts or fears about what I am attempting, I must cultivate inner strength and resilience. To stay peaceful and calm in the midst of great change and effort, I will manage my schedule and environment for enhanced productivity and streamlined maintenance. I will utilize the fantastic support network that is Nerd Fitness by actively participating in my guild, my accountabilibuddy groups and my PVPs. (Linked in my signature.) Daily Routines (CHA-1) Keep to a set of morning and evening routines that encapsulate recurring chores and desired actions into a simple, easy to follow checklist format. Besides carrying forward my kanban board, clutter patrol, and other good habits I have built in the last year, these routines also include a choice of tools for mental resilience and stress reduction - meditation, journaling, breathing exercises, inspirational reading, etc - of which I will do at least one once per day for a minimum of 10 minutes. These are mix and match, in any combination to reach the 10 minutes, for now. I hope that experimentation this challenge will give me clues as to which ones to focus on in more depth in future challenges. And I have set the bar low. I can always do more if time allows or I need the boost. Tai Chi (DEX-1) I considered including this under "Durability", but decided that it deserved a point of it's own. It is moving meditation, stress reduction, and a workout that can range from light recovery to challenging dynamic strength and flexibility, all in one. At least twice per week. This challenge is far more complex than I originally intended, and that is after I cut out a lot of stuff! I had great success last challenge with simpler, more focused goals, but I believe the quest I have chosen requires all of the above, and probably quite a bit more. For now, it is enough. The studying that I need to do, the drills, all of the other things can wait a little while so that I can get the central component firmly in place, my physical training. Everything else must serve and support the establishment of that. Once I am sure that is complete, then I can add in other things. Oh, and that appearance goal is going to be an un-graded mini-quest with the Renaissance Rebels. All of my activities for this challenge are quite simple to determine on a day-to-day basis: "Was X scheduled for today? Did I do X today?" Yes or no. I will log my progress in my challenge spreadsheet (currently under construction and to be finished prior to the challenge start). Each goal will be graded with the standard A, B, C, D, or F system using the usual percentages, and points awarded accordingly. And just because this is Nerd Fitness: (Cue Star Wars Theme...) Heh, heh. After three challenges of trying, I'm putting some of that Digital Storytellers learnin' to use. I've finally got myself a themed quest... And, oh, the truck porn that awaits!
  20. I've just returned from a weekend of camping and nature hikes and I am ready to kick off the summer season. With the weather warmed up, I am ready for the outdoors and getting back into hiking, cycling, and other summer goodies. As always, I will be continuing on my quest to improve my swing dancing skills; I'm even going to a lindy hop dance camp! Last year, I didn't really have any summer fun due to a stressful job and overly-busy work schedule. Right now, I'm unemployed. While this obviously isn't a good thing, I'm turning it into a positive, taking advantage of some free time, and having some summer fun. Starting Stats Weight: 192 lbs Chest: 41" Waist 33.5" Hips 41" Main Quest My ultimate goal is to lose about 30 lbs and gain strength so I can hold my own bodyweight for swing dance aerials. Specific goals 1) Be active - I tend to get in workout "spurts" then laze around for awhile. This challenge I will be trying to build consistency by being active every day. This could be a hike, dancing, strength training, yoga, or anything at all. + 3 STA, + 2 STR 2) Be acrobatic - I want to learn aerials for swing dance, but I'm starting from scratch. So, I'll be working on learning some simple acrobatics, starting with a cartwheel, which I have never done! + 4 DEX, + 1 STR 3) Be mindful - I'm often not mindful about what I eat. I still struggle with food issues - specifically boredom eating and emotional eating. To combat this, I will be posting EVERYTHING I eat in an effort in accountability. Nothing omitted, even if I fall off the wagon hard. + 2 WIS, + 1 CHA Life Quest Be well-rested Since I've been unemployed, my sleep routine has suffered. I want to get back on my normal routine. Lights out by 11PM 5 nights a week (I need my weekend!) + 2 CON Grading Scheme Main Quest 1) Be active: Engage in physical activity everyday A = Was active 42 days B = 32 days C = 21 days D = 10 days F = fewer than 10 days 2) Be acrobatic: Work on cartwheel exercises one day each week A = Practiced cartwheel exercises 5+ times B = 4 times C = 3 times D = 2 times F = 1 time or fewer 3) Be mindful: Share a daily food log A = Posted food log 42 days B = 32 days C = 21 days D = 10 days F = fewer than 10 days Life Quest Be well-rested: Lights out by 11PM for 5 days each week A = Bed on time 30 days B = 20 days C = 15 days D = 5 days F = fewer than 5 days --- "I want her to be a flapper, because flappers are brave and gay and beautiful." - Zelda Fitzgerald
  21. This will be my first official challenge at Nerd Fitness; I've been waiting for this since I signed up 6 weeks ago! I could have jumped straight into the previous challenge but at the time my motivation was running on fumes so I thought I'd ease into it before tackling anything scary like a real challenge. Gotta complete the tutorial before playing the game! The challenge doesn't start for another couple of days which will give me time to nut out the details, but I'm not too worried about stat points at this point because hell, I'm level 0. Just getting to level 1 will be a big deal! But I want to be able to give myself an actual mark because I think it will help me find out what I need to work on, and then I get to win points! (do the thing! win the points!) And I will know what to work on for next time. "But wait, what do you mean by 'attempt at total control?'" Well, I'm glad you asked. While I have been getting my health back in order these last few weeks, my brain has been functioning well enough to realise that I could be doing so much better in other parts of my life then I am and I've known about these issues for a while, but have lacked any sort of drive to do anything about it. I have no intention of throwing myself into the deep end, (this would end up in me flailing about and probably drowning in failure) but I need to start somewhere, and at least if I'm winning points for doing things then I might just! I also want to keep my general fitness improving, so my main quest is still diet-related, but I find it harder to keep my diet on track then delegate time for workouts. (I'm casually employed have time slots around everything I do where I can work out, but I hate cleaning my kitchen so cooking gets left behind when I run out of forks!) SO, without further ado, I give to you, nerds and nerdettes, my sparkly new challenge to start off this year the right way. Get as close to 15% body fat by attempting to eat totally Paleo. (6pts available) Starting Body Fat: 21% Having a number to work down to will be good motivation for me to stick with eating properly. My motivation for joining originally was a lack of happiness in the way I looked, but since I've been following the Rebel Fitness Guide I've reached a point I'm quite pleased with, so I had to think of something else to keep me going. There are still parts of my figure that will benefit greatly from this, and I want to see my abs. I will get a point for every percentage point dropped at the end of the challenge. So, my plan for doing this is; Eat Paleo 3 meals a day 7 days a week (126pts availble) Doesn't get much simpler then that! Cooking has never been a problem for me, I quite enjoy it, but meals need to be easy and quick and not involve a hundred different bowls to create. And paleo, in this instance. Also, I have struggled fitting in breakfast so I'm just going to have to start getting up earlier if it becomes a problem. I score a point every time I eat a paleo breakfast, lunch or dinner. Paleo snacks are worth no points, but I shall deduct a point every time I have a non-paleo snack! I'll try to keep a running tally during the challenge. Find and cook at least one new paleo recipe a week. (6pts available) Pretty self-explanatory; I'm used to cooking with a lot of pastry and cream and flour, and I need to be more creative. At least this way I can explore different things and find new things that myself and my Love will eat. He's coming around slowly but he still likes bread and pie and ice cream. I mean, so do I but my hips don't. One point every time I find and cook a new recipe, but only one point can be earned a week. I might even link and photo in my efforts if I'm feeling like sharing that day! LIFE QUEST: Invite more nature and art into my life. My last year was full of overworking, underachievement and a lot of "I'll do that one day" And I'm sick of hearing it from myself and everyone I know. Ultimately I would like to be doing a job that I love that always changes and I can use my natural flair for creativity and fun to do something awesome, as well as having an adventurous and fulfilling out-of-work life, but ever since finishing my diploma in media I have worked in the same cafe and played the same games and listened to the same music, and used the same excuses to not venture outdoors. Short term, I want to work less, create more, and enjoy the beautiful part of the world that I live in. Putting it on here makes it real and official, and I get to win more points!! A. One detailed artistic work a week, any medium (6pts available) Simple. I have a variety of hobbies, and never do any of them. I'll just pick one each week and go for it! I have to get at least 50% of the way through whatever I choose to do though, no planning things and not following through. B. Go somewhere I haven't been before (6pts available) Again, easy, but something I rarely do. I might even combine the two and go somewhere and work on something. MOTIVASHUNZ Lately I have ben feeling very stifled by real life; work and bad habits bind me into a destructive cycle of not eating properly or not moving around enough and they are the two problems I really need to fix, but I also need to be able to say "no more." I don't need to take every single shift that work throws at me, I could be doing fun things. And I don't get out enough. I also want to have things to talk about when I actually catch up with other humans instead of "yeah, we sat at home and watched tv..." I will keep a daily log of my eating and creative habits, and probably how much exercise I do too (I'm followng the rebel fitness guide and intend to jump from Rookie to Recruit at some point during this challenge.) because that's what I've been doing already. Total points available: 150. (hey! That worked out nicely!) A: 95% B: 80% C: 65% D: 50% F: 35% Phew! That was a lot of info at once, sorry! Anyway, this doesn't start until the 6th, so until then I'll continue updating my Battle Log until then.
  22. If anyone familiar with MovNat and the idea of natural movement workouts? I'm trying to find out more about it but as far as I can tell there isn't much going on related to it in Boston and the web resources tend to be rather vague because they're trying to get you to come to their workshops.
  23. hello all! i'm so excited to be a Ranger for my second challenge! true to Ranger form, i am doing a hybrid of two other classes for this next 6 weeks. but instead of the usual Scout-Warrior blend, i'll be combining the Assassin and Druid ways of life. we'll see how it goes! main life goal - to shape myself into a real-life version of my d&d character over the past few years, i've slowly been coming to terms with the nerd side of myself. becoming a part of the NF community and participating in the last 6 week challenge did a lot to help me feel confident and secure in who i am as a nerd, as well as i who i am physically. part of this growing confidence is the realization that i admire my d&d character quite a lot. after all, she was formed from the traits i think are the most badass, so of course i think she's cool! she's someone i'm content to pretend to be for hours on end. and now, i realize that i don't have to just pretend to be like her. i really can be like her! granted, i'll never be part of the Eladrin race, i can't change the fact that i was born in California in favor of being born in the Feywild, and my 5 foot 2 will never become her 6 foot. but i can become lithe and nimble enough to run through the woods in the most efficient way possible. i can learn about the natural world around me. and i've already started my training as an archer! so in short, my main quest is to become the person i'd like to be - to be a parkour yoga witch! parkour - my goal here is [surprise, surprise] to pick up parkour! super exciting and also kinda scary. i just love the idea of being able to effectively run away from zombies! i will do this by following the guidelines laid out in this post: http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2010/08/12/the-definitive-guide-to-parkour-for-beginners/ three or four times a week. yoga - this goal is pretty clear too. i've recently realized that a lot of the flexibility i had in the past is slowly disappearing, and i want to reverse that loss. it seems especially important as i start parkour. so, regain this, i will do yoga designed specifically to increase flexibility three times a week. [any help with a suggestion for a good program or video series to follow here would be appreciated!] witch - this is probably the most exciting piece of my challenge. for years now, i've been interested in herbal medicine, wildcrafting, making tinctures, and the like. even before that, i loved the idea of being a witch. [picture crazy gray hair, a ramshackle hut on a drizzly choppy coast, lots of cats...you know the type.] it all seemed so romantic to me. now, my big dream is to live on a few wooded acres with about 10 chickens, maybe a few sheep, and a huge garden of fruits, vegetables, and herbs. [and some flowers, too. ] by and large, i would make my living as a midwife [no matter what, i plan to start this career in the next few years] but i would spend a lot of my time making soothing or healing remedies from the plants in my backyard. i could go on and on about this dream of being a modern day throwback to the super old school witches, but suffice it to say, i need to know a lot about herbs for it to come true. and i figure there's no point in waiting until i have those wooded acres to learn! i will accomplish this goal by doing one plant-related bit of learning every week. this could be anything from watching a video about how to make tinctures on youtube, to reading a book on the properties of various plants, to taking a seminar on wildcrafting. but i have to learn at least one valuable piece of information each week. life quest - for the last 6 week challenge, i completed a whole42. i have no interest in doing that again so soon, but i do know that i need to keep myself accountable for my eating habits. and i really don't mind tracking everything i eat. so the rules i'm setting for myself here are as follows: build every meal from an appropriately sized portion of meat and fill the rest of the plate with veggies, limit grain and dairy intake [once per week for each is plenty], be realistic about sweet/fat/salty cravings [no mindlessly eating junk food; no chowing down on non-special desserts or snacks like Oreos, Lays, and the like; must savor and be mindful when eating special treats like home-baked pies, my favorite ranger cookie recipe, and the like], no snacking in between meals, write down every thing i eat every day. grading - parkour: i think an adjustable scale is necessary, since i have little idea how well or poorly my body will take to this training. so, depending on my level of exhaustion, soreness, etc, i will adjust how may times per week i should be doing this training. A - 24 through 18 total sessions [3 or 4 times/week], B - 18 sessions [3 times/week], D - 12 sessions [2 times/week], F - 6 or fewer sessions [1 or no times/week] yoga: A - 24 total sessions [4 times/week], B - 18 sessions [3 times/week], D - 12 sessions [2 times/week], F - 6 or fewer sessions [1 or no times/week] witch: A - total of 6 or more sessions, B - 5 sessions, C - 4 sessions, D - 3 sessions, F - 2 or fewer sessions life quest: A - 100% compliance, B - 90%, C - 80%, D - 70%, F - 60% or lower please let me know if you have any suggestions to make a better challenge for myself. again, i'm so excited to be hanging out with fellow Rangers for the next 6 weeks! now let's all go kick some ass!
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